Service animals are a common sight in today’s rental market, and they play a vital role in providing support and comfort to individuals with disabilities. However, landlords often find themselves in a dilemma when it comes to handling multiple service animals in a single rental property. This blog post aims to shed light on the laws surrounding service animals and help landlords understand their rights and responsibilities.
Service animals are an important aspect of the lives of individuals with disabilities, and they provide essential support and comfort. Landlords often face confusion regarding the number of service animals their tenants are allowed to keep in their rental properties. This post will provide information on the laws and regulations surrounding service animals and assist landlords in navigating this issue.
The Fair Housing Act (FHA)
The Fair Housing Act (FHA) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, and disability. Under the FHA, service animals are considered a reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities. This means that landlords must make reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities, including allowing them to keep service animals in their rental properties.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. The ADA defines service animals as dogs that are individually trained to perform tasks for individuals with disabilities, such as guiding individuals who are blind or alerting individuals who are deaf. Service animals under the ADA are not restricted to dogs and can also include miniature horses.
Multiple Service Animals
According to both the FHA and the ADA, tenants are allowed to keep more than one service animal in their rental properties if it is necessary for their disability. However, landlords have the right to request proof of the necessity of multiple service animals if they suspect that the tenant is not using the service animal for its intended purpose.
Proof of Necessity
Proof of necessity can be provided in the form of a letter from a doctor or other medical professional indicating the need for multiple service animals. Landlords can also request that tenants provide certification or training documents for the service animals.
Responsibilities of Landlords
Landlords have several responsibilities when it comes to service animals in their rental properties. These include:
- Allowing tenants to keep service animals in their rental properties as a reasonable accommodation.
- Not charging tenants any additional fees or deposits for service animals.
- Not asking tenants to provide proof of the disability or the certification of the service animal.
- Not discriminating against tenants with disabilities.
WILMOTH Group Property Management in Indianapolis
At WILMOTH Group, we understand the complexities of managing rental properties in Indianapolis, especially when it comes to service animals. Our team of expert property managers is knowledgeable in all aspects of the law and is equipped to handle any issues that may arise with service animals in rental properties.
In addition to our property management services, we also provide landlords with education and resources on the laws surrounding service animals and assist them in making informed decisions. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you navigate the complexities of managing rental properties in Indianapolis.
Service animals play a vital role in the lives of individuals with disabilities, and landlords must make reasonable accommodations for them in their rental properties. The FHA and the ADA both allow tenants to keep more than one service animal if it is necessary for their disability, but landlords have the right to request proof of necessity. At WILMOTH Group, we are equipped to handle all aspects of service animals in rental properties and are dedicated to providing five star property management services in Indianapolis.